The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center

What's New 2013


It can be difficult to find a doctor or medical center with the expertise in a particular disease. Dr. John Sotos and colleagues have developed a unique Web-based tool, called ExpertScape, to help patients and their families identify disease-specific experts. ExpertScape's unique algorithm is based on the idea that true experts are "investigating the leading edge of knowledge and are writing about it." ExpertScape therefore bases its rankings on scientific publications. ExpertScape recently analyzed over 2,900 articles on pancreatic cancer and the Johns Hopkins University came out ranked as the leading expert center on pancreatic cancer. In addition, Dr. Ralph Hruban, the head of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins was identified as the world's leading expert on pancreatic cancer. While no system is perfect, it is gratifying to receive this special recognition.

The Ruth Leff Siegel Award goes to Dr. Hruban

Ralph H. Hruban, M.D., head of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center received the first The Ruth Leff Siegel Award for Excellence in Pancreatic Cancer Research at a ceremony at Columbia University in New York on September 23, 2013. This $50,000 prize recognizes “the investigator who has made the most significant contribution to the understanding and/or treatment of pancreatic cancer over the past year.” Congratulations Ralph!

Dr. Hruban accepts the award
Dr. Hruban receives the Ruth Leff Siegel Award from Dr. Lee Goldman (Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine for Columbia University), and Dr. John Chabot (Director of the Pancreatic Cancer Center at Columbia)
Dr. Hruban Speaking
Dr. Hruban accepts the award

Dr. Anirban Maitra on 60 Minutes

60 Minutes

Dr. Anirban Maitra and his student Jack Andraka were featured on a recent episode of 60 Minutes. As a high school student working in Dr. Maitra’s pancreatic cancer research lab, Jack developed a novel approach to detecting molecules in blood. While potentially exciting, it is important to note that the results are unpublished and have not been formally tested in humans. Learn more about this remarkable story.

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network PurpleLight National Vigil For Hope

PurpleLight National Vigil for Hope is a time to honor loved ones fighting pancreatic cancer and those who have lost the fight. Join us in creating awareness of pancreatic cancer and honoring those who have battled this disease, knowing that people all across the United States are doing the same.

During the PurpleLight Ceremony, we will read the names of individuals who have battled the disease, both survivors and loved ones we have lost too soon. Families and friends will be asked to stand and illuminate their purple glow stick when their love one’s name is read.

6:30 pm
Broadway Plaza - Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
601 North Caroline Street
Baltimore, MD 21287

More information and registration.

Johns Hopkins Releases the iCarebook iPad app for Patients and Families

JHU iCarebook
Created by the award-winning APP team from Johns Hopkins (, the Johns Hopkins iCareBook for Pancreatic Cancer is an educational guide for patients, family members and friends facing a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Created by leading experts in the field, this interactive application (app) includes text, illustrations, animations and videos. Emphasis is placed on multi-disciplinary care and the team approach.

The app has three main sections. The MY DISEASE section contains important information on the pancreas and pancreatic cancer, with emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. It even contains information on cysts in the pancreas. The MY TEAM section provides information about each of the different specialties that make up the multidisciplinary team that cares for patients with pancreatic cancer. The MY TEAM section can be personalized with the names and pictures of the user's caregivers, and can even integrate with the iOS contacts list. The section can also be used to take notes, such as questions to ask a particular health care specialist. The third section is the MY CARE JOURNAL. This section can integrate with the built-in iOS Calendar and has tools that help to navigate the health care system. In allows the user to track appointments, take notes, record symptoms including pain, and to document medications.

The Johns Hopkins iCareBook for Pancreatic Cancer is designed to educate and therefore empower patients, family members and friends as they navigate the health care system with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The application is dedicated to the patients treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital and their families.

Get the app from iTunes

Hopkins Team Recognized for Advancing Pancreatic Cancer Research Through Innovative, Collaborative Science

Dr. Hruban speaking at the meeting

The Pancreatic Cancer Sequencing Team in the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins received the Team Science Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) at the AACR's Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C., on 7th , 2013. This $50,000 award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious scientific work that has advanced or will likely advance cancer research, detection, diagnosis, prevention or treatment. The Hopkins team was selected based on its tremendous impact on understanding of the fundamental genetic changes that characterize pancreatic cancer. The interdisciplinary team, led by Ralph H. Hruban, M.D., comprises 20 faculty members from three different institutions: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.; Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y. Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D., chief executive officer of the AACR, said that the team's "research has greatly contributed to our knowledge of pancreatic cancer, which currently has an extremely poor prognosis. They have provided a wonderful example of the innovative scientific discoveries we can expect to find when the efforts of multiple institutions and different biomedical fields collaborate."

Team photo

Pictured above are:
Row 1 (left to right): David Klimstra, Kenneth Kinzler, Ralph Hruban (team leader), Bert Vogelstein, Nicholas Papadopoulos, Michael Choti, Victor Velculescu
Row 2: (left to right): Christopher Wolfgang, Joseph Herman, Laura Wood Row 3: (left to right): Scott Kern, N. Volkan Adsay, Alison Klein, Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue
Not pictured: Peter Allen, Luis Diaz, James Eshleman, Michael Goggins, Anirban Maitra and Alan Meeker

Pictured with Katie Couric are Drs. Michael Goggins, Alan Meeker, James Eshleman, and Ralph Hruban.

Pictured above with Katie Couric are Drs. Michael Goggins, Alan Meeker, James Eshleman, and Ralph Hruban.

PanCAN Meeting

PANCAN meeting at Hopins
The Baltimore and Washington D.C. affiliates of PanCAN, the national pancreatic cancer advocacy group, visited the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins on Saturday March 24, 2013. Approximately 50 patients, family members and advocates visited. The morning started with welcoming remarks by Teresa Barth, Marsha Balsinger from PanCAN, and an introduction by Dr. Ralph Hruban from the Hopkins team. The visitors then broke up into eleven small groups for small informal meetings with the doctors, scientists and health care providers at Hopkins. Each group spent 10-15 minutes with a member of the Hopkins team, and then moved to the next team member. Dr. Hruban described it as "speed dating!" Most importantly, the PanCAN visitors got a close-up and personal tour of the labs and the opportunity to meet and chat with a number of the world leaders in pancreatic cancer care and research.

The team members from Hopkins who participated in the event included:

Photos from the Day

People meeting at PANCAN

Video prep

People meeting at PANCAN

People meeting at PANCAN

People meeting at PANCAN

People meeting at PANCAN

Older News